Sometimes finding love means taking the scenic route ...
Living with her faultfinding mother has taught Leslie not to ask for much. Just watch your step, stay on the sidelines, and take what you can get. But she wants a mom who thanks her for cleaning the kitchen instead of yelling at her for missing a spot, and a boyfriend who does more than score her a seat at the popular table--someone who actually notices her sitting there.
So when Cain, the school heartbreaker, turns his Carolina blue eyes her way, Leslie can't help but be tempted, even if he's her boyfriend's best friend. Things get even more complicated when Leslie strikes up unlikely friendships with Meredith, Cain's girlfriend, and Dennis, a boy addicted to cigarettes and solitude. Despite his tough exterior, Dennis seems to understand Leslie in a way that no one ever has, and to need her as much as she needs him.
For the first time in her life, Leslie feels like she could belong. She's just not sure where.
"Well, don't let me waste any more of your time." I stood up. "Maybe you can still finish your game of pool, or whatever else you want to call it."
"Leslie, don't," he groaned, tossing the grass bits aside and putting his face in his hands, a gesture of irritation I'd seen all too often lately. "I feel bad enough."
"You should feel bad. Whether you call it cheating or not, that's what you've been doing." I started to walk back inside, but just as I reached the door, he stepped up behind me and pressed his hand against it.
"I'm not the only one," he whispered in my ear. "I've seen the way you look at Cain."
I turned to face him. We were so close that for a second I thought I might kiss him, not in an effort to reclaim what was gone, but to prove him wrong.
"You're seeing things, then," I said shakily. "Must be your guilty conscience."
He let go of the door and stepped back.
"Must be," he said softly, but the dark undercurrent of his words said I'd told him all he needed to know.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There are no words to describe how deeply I was touched by this book. It tugged on so many different heart strings--one minute I was happy crying and 20 minutes later I was ugly girl crying. All of those awkward emotions and insecurities and new experiences from my high school years came rushing back to me in vivid color. The beauty of reading great YA fiction in my 30s as opposed to in my teens, is that I can relate to the characters from many perspectives--as a mother, a daughter, a wife, a girlfriend, etc.--which only increased my emotional involvement in the story. This book was just so REAL for me...I'm speechless. Highly recommended!!!!
Leslie is used to watching her step, living with her strict mother and navigating the social minefield of her high school. She wants more from life than the popularity that comes from a boyfriend she might not even like that much, but can’t help but feel welcomed into the group lead by her longtime crush, Cain. When Cain starts to notice Leslie she can’t help but feel good, but things get complicated when she befriends Cain’s girlfriend. Add in the mysterious new guy, Dennis, who seems to get Leslie despite her misgivings and all of a sudden life and love just got a whole lot more complicated. I really enjoyed Accidents & Incidents! Riley Graham has created a cast of characters that are not only realistic and relatable, but truly likeable as well. From the first page I was invested in the outcome for the protagonist Leslie. She’s sweet and fumbling like any teenage girl might be and has a strong desire for something more in her life. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Leslie and her mother. Although her mother is at times nitpicky and demanding of her daughter, I could feel the love that backed up her actions and wanted so badly for she and Leslie to get on the same page. When Leslie’s mom finally starts to get the breaks in life that she deserves I cheered for her and for Leslie as well. Accidents & Incidents has a central love story that is both endearing and complicated. I found myself rooting for Leslie as she slowly figured out which boy was really right for her. Teenage love in real life is complicated and I found this book to reflect all of the roller coaster emotions of that. I like that the romance is a central storyline but that it doesn’t dominate the entire novel. The reader is drawn into Leslie’s entire life, including friends and family, with the romance rounding out the perfect equation. Every relationship is well-roudned and moves the story forward. I would recommend Accidents & Incidents to both young adults and adults alike. It is a clean contemporary romance suitable for any age level. Teens will relate to Leslie and her struggles and adults will be drawn back to a time in their life when everything is uncertain in that familiar teenage way.